Don’t forget the ethnic minorities amid fighting COVID- 19
Number of confirmed cases in Australia has been soaring exponentially from hundreds to frightening thousands over the past week. PM Morrison after cabinet meeting with the State leaders announced a national emergency state, the society was locked down, the various States closed their borders and the whole country was in self-isolation. Victorian Premier Andrew encouraged everyone to stay at home to slow down spread of the virus.
All economic activities come to a stop, businesses are closing down and people are losing their jobs. Morrison’s second phase of economical stimulus package aims to help out small businesses and employments. But it may not be working in the absence of income and lack of any business prospect. Queues are lining up long in front of the Centrelink offices for unemployment assistance.
Ethnic minorities have not been fully kept in the loop because the government’s 30-million propaganda came out all in English and was not covered in other ethnic minorities’ media. Many Chinese can only rely on some inaccurate and incomplete information through their social media networks. Some Chinese community associations even advised people should seek attention from the Chinese Embassy rather than turning to proper health institutes.
The government should set up an information platforms for the ethnic minorities and release announcements through reliable and established media platform such as radio, publication and local community organizations. Morrison estimated the present situation would be around for at least six months, so all the way the government should work hand in hand with the ethnic minority communities and media in fighting against the pandemic.
The government must encourage the communities, ensure and unite all local communities in the process. In this issue as a start I have published my translated version of an encouragement message by the mayor of Manningham on the subject. I hope the government can speedily establish a system to dispatch official information to cover the ethnic minorities which account for 40% of the Australian population.
Against this crisis, we all have a role to play. I hope Sameway Magazine and our sister radio program SameVoice Sameway are getting more support from our audience, the community and the government as we aim to give more encouragement and support to all Chinese through our media. May God bless us in the fighting in hands with the community.
Raymond Chow, Publisher